Sunday, August 25, 2019

King's Shadow By Angela Hunt

King's Shadow
by Angela Hunt
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764233364

As a long time fan of Angela Hunt's, I was excited to find out the final book in her The Silent Years series was coming out. I jumped at the chance to review King's Shadow thanks to Bethany House.

Summary:

Their Lives Couldn't Be More Different,
but Their Goal Is the Same:
Survive King Herod's Rule.
Two women occupy a place in Herod's court. The first, Salome, is the king's only sister, a resentful woman who has been told she's from an inferior race, a people whom God will never accept or approve of.

The second woman, Zara, is a lowly handmaid who serves Salome, but where Salome spies conspiracies and treachery, Zara sees hurting people in need of understanding and compassion.

Powerful and powerless, Idumean and Jew, selfish and selfless--both women struggle to reach their goals and survive each day within Herod the Great's tumultuous court, where no one is trustworthy and no one is safe.

My Review:

I don't know if there's an author who can write in any genre like Angela Hunt can. The Silent Years series has been an awesome one and I'm sad to see it finish with this last book.

Can I be completely honest about something? I saw this book come up for review and just requested it without even reading what it was about. Do you have an author who you don't care what they write, you're going to read it no matter what? Yea, that's me with Angela Hunt. So when the book came. I glanced at the back of the book to get a glimpse of the story, and then dove in. I didn't realize this story was about THE Herod. Know when I realized? When I got to the end of the book. Can we all just take a moment to facepalm? Honestly!

I have to say, I appreciate the research that goes into creating stories like these. Biblical fiction is becoming one of my favorite genres! After reading this fictionalized story of Herod's reign, I have to tell you, I would never have any desire to be in a position of authority. What he went through, what his wives and children went through, as well as his extended family was just awful! I can't even imagine anyone in that time desiring power to sit on a throne.

Anyhow, we meet Salome and in turn meet her new handmaiden, Zara. Believe it or not, I started out on Salome's side. I could understand how she wanted to protect her family, especially her brother, the king. Unfortunately, that desire to protect put many in danger. Then there's also, Zara, who I had hoped we would've seen her transformation a bit more detailed, but we got to see her heart for serving her mistress.

It was very interesting watching Salome transform as a character. Starting from when she is the king's young sister up to when she's an elderly grandmother, we watch her develop and mature. Not always in a positive way, but who of us has a straight and narrow path?

Zara spends her life serving Salome. It's clear she loves Salome and Salome learns to trust her. Because Zara isn't a slave, but a servant, she's allowed more freedom than most. This allows her leave the palace and spend time with those who live and share her faith. I would've liked to have watched Zara's faith develop more. We have glimpses of it, but I wish as a reader we would've see her have that "light bulb" moment. That's just my perspective from my view of the story. Others might be completely satisfied by how her faith life unfolded.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and am sad to see the series come to an end. I felt like I was on a constant roller coaster of emotions because of all the intensity the Herodians carried. Let's just say I'm glad I wasn't part of his court or family! lol The way it ushers in the beginning of Jesus' time is fluid and gripping! Imagine being a king and knowing there are people who believe there's a king coming who will be greater than the one ruling!

I'm looking forward to reading her next set of stories about women in the New Testament.

About the Author:

The author of more than 100 published books and with more than 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty.Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at www.angelahuntbooks.com.

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